What if …
Bugatti developed a radically light, completely new concept around its iconic 8.0 litre W16 engine?
The answer: the BUGATTI Bolide
An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight and a driving experience in a new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball.
With the experimental study of the Bugatti Bolide, the French luxury car manufacturer is presenting a new and unique vehicle concept for the ultimate Bugatti performance kick: a track-only hyper sports car featuring the W16 engine derived from series production combined with a minimal body for maximum downforce. The Bolide offers an unprecedented and ultimate Bugatti driving experience: reduced, raw, authentic.
01. THE IDEA
AN ABSOLUTE REBEL
SOVEREIGN POWER MEETS PRODIGIOUS LIGHTNESS
“We asked ourselves how we could realize the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats.” – Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti President.
The Bugatti Bolide is the most extreme, uncompromising, fastest and lightest vehicle concept in the company’s recent history – with an incredible weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg per PS. This is made possible by the combination of the W16 engine with 1,850 PS and a vehicle weight of just 1,240 kilograms. The Bugatti Bolide achieves figures that are almost on par with Formula 1 while its top speed is well above 500 km/h – without compromising maximum handling and maximum agility.
THE ULTIMATE BUGATTI DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The Bolide is the unrivalled technological concept of a track-focused Bugatti hyper sports car. This puts the Bolide with its W16 power plant at the absolute top in terms of combustion engines used in automotive engineering and shows what this iconic machine is really capable of. We have freed the car of all baggage, and combined the powertrain with the lightest possible chassis to create the ultimate Bugatti and to discover a whole new driving experience. With the Bolide, we are presenting our interpretation of a Bugatti track car of modern times to our enthusiasts all over the world.
THE DNA: BUGATTI TYPE 35
Back in the 1920s Bugatti produced one of the most successful racing cars of all time: the Type 35. The open-top sports car achieved over 2,000 victories between 1924 and 1930, making it a true legend in racing history. It was inimitable in terms of technology, design and performance: powered by a high revving 2.3L inline 8 cylinder, the supercharged evolutionary models developed 140 PS and could reach top speeds of over 215 km/h. As well as their impressive power, these engines were primarily renowned for their reliability and endurance. And their lightness: a race-ready Bugatti Type 35 weighed only around 750 kilograms, making it a masterpiece in terms of weight-to-power ratio.
The Type 35 was inimitable in its time in terms of technology, design and performance. Just as the Bugatti Bolide is today.
02. THE TECHNOLOGY
MOTORSPORT TECHONOLOGY AT ITS FINEST
POWERTRAIN DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE RACE TRACK
“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements. Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data.” – Stefan Ellrott, Head of Bugatti Technical Development.
The 8.0-litre W16-cylinder engine with 1,850 PS and 1,850 Nm of torque is at its heart. Bugatti has designed the drive specifically for use on the race track, and has optimized it in particular for higher engine speeds. For a start, both intake and exhausts systems were de-throttled to obtain a more spontaneous response, while four newly developed turbochargers build up more boost pressure and power at higher engine speeds. In order to cope with the extremely high centrifugal forces the whole dry sump lubrication system was redesigned, bringing also weight saving benefits. The cooling system is new as well, from the air-to-air intercooling for the engine (instead of water-to-air), to the carbon-titanium turbofan radial compressors to ventilate and cool the high-performance racing brake system.
EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT, HIGHEST STRENGTH
In order to achieve the dry weight of just 1,240 kg the Bugatti team had to pull all the stops. For example, a completely new monocoque made of carbon was developed around the drive-train. The integral front end flanged to it is also made of high-strength carbon fibres, as the underbody and the monocoque itself, which are fully aerodynamically effective. The tensile strength and stiffness of all composite materials –from the single carbon fibers to the high strength aeronautical stainless steel– offer resistance figures only reached in aerospace industry. The extensive use of lightweight 3D printed materials, the hollow design of many components, and the titanium screws and fastening elements are just a few examples of the high-end motorsport technology applied in the Bugatti Bolide.
DYNAMICS: RACING PEDIGREE
To achieve the driving performance and handling dynamics of a LMP1 race car, a brand new push-rod kinematics architecture was designed. The oil reservoirs are arranged inside the dampers, which improves aerodynamics, while the welded control arms made of aviation stainless steel also work as wing profiles. As in Formula 1, the Bolide decelerates with racing brakes with ceramic discs and coatings, mated to calipers that weigh just 2.4 kg. The forged magnesium OZ rims have central lock and weigh just 7.4 kilograms on the front and 8.4 on the rear, and they are mated with Michelin slick racing tyres. The Bolide includes other motorsport features such as a compressed-air-driven jack system with four rams to makes tyre changing easier, and a quick high pressure re-fueling system.
AERODYNAMICS: MASTERING THE WIND
The best of Bugatti’s aerodynamics expertise has been condensed into the Bolide. The combination of an athletic body inspired in the Le Mans prototypes with the extensive use of wings and flaps generate 2,600 kg of downforce at 320 km/h, 800 at the front and 1,800 at the rear. A worldwide innovation is the morphable outer skin of the intake scoop on the roof, which provides active airflow optimization. At slow speed the surface of the scoop remains smooth. In contrast, a field of bubbles bulges out when driven at fast speeds, reducing the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by 10 percent and the lift force by 17 percent. With an overall height of only 995 millimetres, the Bugatti Bolide is exactly the same height as the historic Bugatti Type 35, and about 22 centimetres flatter than the Chiron.
03. THE DESIGN
THE MOST EXTREME MODERN BUGATTI
TAILORED TO PERFORM
“In my 16 years at Bugatti, I have never worked on a more extreme vehicle concept” – Achim Anscheidt, Director of Design at Bugatti.
The design of the Bugatti Bolide is radically tailored to the idea of lightweight construction, resulting in the most provocative proportion of a modern Bugatti ever and the distilled quintessence of our Bugatti design ethos form follows performance.
The stylistic challenge was to transform the unyielding demands of aerodynamics and lightweight construction into an aesthetic that reflects the unique Bugatti DNA, but at the same time illustrates the ambition of an impressive weight-to-power ratio. The overall appearance is dominated by air ducts that are more reminiscent of Formula 1 racing cars than classic sports cars. The seemingly filigree and half-open front end is a striking example of the combination of air duct expertise, lightweight construction requirements and aesthetic dynamics.
THE AVIATION LINING
The driver’s ultra-sporty seating permits the low-slung shape of an automotive low-flying aircraft. It is therefore not surprising that the appearance of the Bugatti Bolide invokes the so-called X planes of aviation history and shows a clear X signature from every perspective. It is indirectly reminiscent of the Bell X-1 jet aircraft which was flown by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager in 1947, the first person to break the sound barrier at Mach 1.06. The Bugatti Bolide “X-periment” has the shape of an aerodynamically optimized, uncompromising racing car and offers ultra-sporty, superlative performance – with no hint of luxury.
04. FACTS & FIGURES
BUGATTI BOLIDE – TECHNICAL DATA
|Engine design / cylinders||W16|
|Number of valves per cylinder||4|
|Forced induction||4 exhaust gas turbochargers|
|Power output||1,361 kW/1,850 PS at 7,000 rpm|
|Maximum torque||1,850 Nm (2,000 to 7,025 rpm)|
|Drive||Permanent all-wheel drive|
|Power distribution front||Controlled longitudinal differential lock, Borg-Warner type|
|Power distribution rear||Controlled transverse differential lock|
|0 – 100 km/h||2.17 s|
|0 – 200 km/h||4.36 s|
|0 – 300 km/h||7.37 s|
|0 – 400 km/h||12.08 s|
|0 – 500 km/h||20.16 s|
|0 – 400 – 0 km/h||24.64 s|
|0 – 500 – 0 km/h||33.62 s|
|Maximum lateral acceleration||2.8 G|
|In high downforce configuration||cW* A 1.31|
|In high speed configuration||cW* A 0.54|
|Front suspension||Double wishbones|
Push-rod linkage with lying spring/damper units
|Rear suspension||Double wishbones|
Direct linkage with standing spring/damper units
|Front tires||Michelin racing slicks, 30/60 R18|
|Rear tires||Michelin racing slicks, 37/71 R18|
|Wheels||OZ Racing 18-inch forged magnesium|
|Rear tires||Michelin racing slicks, 37/71 R18|
|Brake discs front & rear||380 mm x 37 mm|
|Brake pistons per caliper||6|
|Front overhang||963 mm|
|Rear overhang||1,040 mm|
|Ground clearance (to the underbody)||75 mm|
|Vehicle dry weight||1,240 kg|
|Weight-to-power ratio||0.67 kg/PS|